CMT Brings Together All-Star Lineup and President Obama for Disaster Relief Concert
Thursday night, CMT aired their 90-minute live telecast of 'Music Builds: The CMT Disaster Relief Concert,' a benefit aiding those victims who lost their lives and homes after the tornadoes ripped through the southern states only weeks ago.
After heartbreaking footage of what can happen in one year's time, Trace Adkins narrated the show's intro as cameras gave viewers an up-close and personal look at the damages with testimonials.
Hank Williams, Jr., along with help from the Blind Boys of Alabama, opened the show with an uplifting rendition of 'I Saw the Light,' as viewers had the constant reminder of how their donations could help make the difference for many families affected by the devastating natural disasters.
Little Big Town performed an acoustic version of the moving Coldplay tune 'Fix You,' followed by a performance by Sara Evans, who sang her current No. 1 single and appropriate anthem for the special, 'A Little Bit Stronger.' Gretchen Wilson then delivered a soulful rendition of the John Prine classic 'Angel From Montgomery,' and Tim McGraw sang his haunting hit 'My Old Friend.'
For their performance, Lady Antebellum put their own spin on Bob Marley's 'Three Little Birds,' in which they weaved in parts of their No. 1 hit 'I Run to You.' Alan Jackson took the stage next as more pledges kept filtering in benefiting the Red Cross while he sang 'Song for the Life.'
Alabama's Randy Owen spoke of the citizens lost during the tornado as his eyes welled with tears prior to singing a fitting 'My Home's in Alabama' with his former bandmates, Jeff Cook and Teddy Gentry. Ronnie Dunn was next on the all-star lineup as he performed his powerful 'Bleed Red,' followed by a performance of Keith Urban's 2007 hit 'Everyday.'
Trace Adkins' deep baritone voice wrapped around every lyric of Brook Benton's 'Rainy Night in Georgia,' before Hank Jr. took the stage for the night's final performance of a rousing 'Dixie on My Mind.'
Throughout the night, Nicole Kidman, Shania Twain, actress Courtney Cox, Carrie Underwood, Big and Rich’s Big Kenny, Taylor Swift, talkshow host Ellen DeGeneres, and 'American Idol' judges Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez (as well as 'Idol' host, Ryan Seacrest) shared real-life stories about those affected the most by the fatal storms.
As fans called in to pledge their donations, some were lucky enough to talk with the celebrity volunteers manning the phones, which included Darryl Worley, Danny Gokey, Clay Walker, Phil Vassar, Ashton Shepherd, Kellie Pickler, Montgomery Gentry, David Nail, Clint Black, model Niki Taylor, Cheap Trick's Tom Peterson, Hank Jr. and his daughters Holly and Hillary, and many more.
One of the night’s biggest moments came from President Obama, who filmed a segment from a plant in Indiana. He spoke from the heart of how strong the country has come together to help one another in need during this horrific time, from the citizens to the heroic first responders who worked in search and rescue for endless days.
Fans can still text REDCROSS to 90999 to make $10 donations to the Red Cross or pledge their donations online by clicking here. Click here to view photos from the CMT Disaster Relief Concert, and for a complete video set of the night's performances, head over to CMT.
Watch Sara Evans Perform 'A Little Bit Stronger' at CMT's Disaster Relief Concert
Watch Alabama Perform 'My Home's in Alabama' at CMT's Disaster Relief Concert